Descendants of James Reynolds

The Reynolds name is of Norse origin and comes from a family of Renard, the Norse personal name of Rognvalde, which means; 'ruler of the gods'. The family is of great antiquity, claiming descent from Ranell, son of Grethferth - the - Dane, King of Northumberland. He and his two sons were driven from England circa 944 A.D. and took shelter in Normandy. His descendant FitzRanells or FitzReynolds, (Fitz meaning "son of") returned to England with William the Conqueror, in the eleventh century.

Some descendants of Sir Reynaud or FitzReynolds, the knight who accompanied William the Conqueror, must have migrated to Ireland, as the name is found Gaelicized as "Raghnall" and "MacRaghnail." (And several other spelling variations). Our branch probably originates from the MacRagnaill's found to have lived since the 1200's in the southern part of County Leitrim where they held lands until the end of the 17th century. Thomas MacRagnaill was the first of the main line to adopt the Anglicized name Reynolds in the sixteenth century. Septs in counties Armagh, Tyrone and Monaghan also took the name Reynolds.

My research continues as a work in progress. I encourage contact from family members with new information and / or corrections.

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James Little
18581 Durfee Lane
Villa Park, CA 92861

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